Title: Heavy Price
Character/s: Arthur, Gaius, Cenred, Uther
Summary: He wasn't the one to pay the price of his greed.
Warnings: Non-con, incestual thoughts, seriously dark
Word Count: 993
Author's Notes: I cannot believe that I wrote this!
Uther stared point blank ahead.
This was what his greed had resulted in. His desire to expand the kingdoms, to gain himself more influence and it had cost him. He knew the result would be worth it though, knew he would become one of the most powerful kings the world had ever seen. Once he had control of Cenred’s lands, he would remind the man quite how ruthless he could be. He would destroy everything Cenred held dear ten times over because of what he had done.
The rhythmic slapping of skin was punctuated only by grunts of pleasure and cries of anguish. Uther knew what was going on just behind the locked door, but he refused to let himself think about it. To think about it would be acknowledging what his greed had brought about and the king knew he couldn’t think like that. He had to prove that he was the strongest leader, that to stand against him would be futile and everyone should take the easy way and just kneel.
But he refused to take the easy way. He refused to move away. It was his punishment to stand here and listen to this, knowing it was someone under his protection that Cenred was violating.
The cries and screams eventually faded away and the opposing king in question appeared from the dungeons. His hands were still fiddling with his laces even as he walked and he had a self-satisfied smirk on his face. Uther glanced through to the cell beyond, his heart catching at the sight of the chained figure. He was naked, suspended from the ceiling and his head hanging. Blood was trickling down the back of his legs and Uther knew what had been done to him. Normally, he would have opposed it, fought against it.
But this time he hadn’t been able to.
Cenred had offered him so much for this price, and Uther knew he would be a fool not to have taken it. He needed more, he needed so much more and he knew now there was nothing he wouldn’t have given for it. His hand drifted to his sword, loosening it in his sheath slightly as he watched Cenred walk past. He could end it all here, the man had signed the peace treaty after all. Uther knew he had enough people working for him that they could pass it off as an accident, that the king’s men would never know what had truly happened to their master.
But even as Uther made to draw his blade, Cenred smirked.
“Let me have another round tomorrow and I can reveal the location of the gold my father buried.”
He walked off before Uther could respond, leaving the tyrant king standing there. He should say no, he should end it all. But he had heard quite how much wealth Cenred’s father had hidden away and he felt the greed rising again. He had to have it, with that sort of money he could build an army so great that no one would dare to stand against him. He would never have to resort to such measures again. The kingdom would be safe.
“I will have him ready…”
“No. Bring him to my rooms. I want to do it in comfort this time, prolong the experience.”
“Bring him at noon, or the gold will be used against you.”
Despite the peace treaty being signed, Uther knew that Cenred meant his words. With that amount of gold, he too would have been able to raise an army. A piece of parchment meant nothing if he had control. Uther curtly nodded and Cenred made to move off. Just before he disappeared up the stairs, he looked back once more.
“You can even join us if you wish. I hear that his looks resemble…”
Luckily for Cenred, Gaius appearing stopped Uther simply punching him. The enemy king smirked and turned on his heel as Uther turned back to the cell. He took a step towards it and Gaius held out his hand.
“Maybe it is better if you don’t enter, My Lord, he knows that you allowed it to happen. Considering the circumstances, it best not be wise to enter…”
“He’s my patient now and therefore I request that you keep your distance.”
The coolness in the physician’s tone indicated precisely how furious he was with Uther and where his greed had led him this time. The king fell back, knowing the old man had a point. He wanted to explain, wanted to say that it was for the good of the kingdom but he knew that was going to have to wait. He still couldn’t bring himself to move as Gaius entered the cell.
“You, men, get him down from there. You, find me blankets and some warm water. You, bring me some watered down wine…”
Uther blended into the shadows as the guards rushed about doing as they were told. No one knew he was there, but their faces indicated what they thought of him. After all, he had been the one who had one of their own ordered to be shackled and stripped. A soft whimper met Uther’s ears and his heart clenched at knowing the victim had been conscious throughout the whole of Cenred’s rape.
“Easy, Arthur, I’ve got you… Hush, my boy, it’s just me, I can help you. He’s gone, Sire, it’s over…”
As Gaius began not only treating Arthur, but soothing him as well, Uther realised the true cost of his greed. It had cost him being a father. He lifted his head and felt his resolve flare into life. Arthur would learn.
He was just another subject until he came of age, there to do as his king commanded.
And Cenred had a point, he did look like his mother.
Maybe tomorrow’s price would be easier to bare if he did more than just watch from the sidelines.